San Diego Comic-Con commences with Preview Night, on July 19, 2023. Early buzz isn’t so much about what attendees will see but what they won’t. The Writer’s Guild of America is on strike and could be joined by SAG-AFTRA, which represents 160,000 actors, as early as tomorrow.
In the midst of the mayhem, Hollywood studios suddenly are pulling presence from this year’s Con. The infamous Hall H, where some of the best panels and previews take place, is suddenly an unpopular presentation venue. Pick any number of reasons, among them: Nobody to be on stage for fans to gawk at; picketers parading placards outside the convention center.
If this makes you mad—that you paid to attend but now there’s nothing to see—don’t be. Hollywood’s diminished presence is an opportunity for SDCC to get back to basics: books, comics, and games. This could be the best Comic-Con in decades. If I had a pass—and don’t—my feet would pound the floors every day of the event.
As for the strike, fire all the writers! Look at the recycled, trope-filled crap that Hollywood calls storytelling. Liberate us from the Marvel Universe and go on from there. How? Hire ChatGPT, or your favorite up-and-coming artificial intelligence, to develop stories and craft the scripts—because surely the machines can’t do much worse than these godawful humans!
In that spirit, I present the Featured Image, of the Mad magazine logo, from San Diego Comic-Con 2015. I made the moment using Fujifilm X-T1 on July 11. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/4, ISO 320, 1/60 sec, 55mm; 5:01 p.m. PDT.